Saturday, April 24, 2010


Dennis Quinlan (the 'Velobanjogent' - a Frankenlogo if ever there was one!) sent this clipping from the April 1956 edition of the New South Wales Motorcyclist, presumably a 'modern' motorcycle publication which occasionally featured Vintage motorcycles...although the Rover in the photograph is a Veteran in the VMCC system of 'eras'. The 'Veteran' being anything with two wheels and a motor built before 1919, the 'Vintage' era from 1919 - 1930 (the last age of Nickel plating), the 'Post-Vintage' 1931-47, the 'Classic' 1948 onwards... and things start to get fuzzy in the 'modern' era.  When the Vintage MCC was founded in 1948 in England, anyone showing up on a 40s machine was frowned upon! Of course now they're considered as important historically as the Veterans. 

The VMCC originally considered fixing their eligibility dates as pre-1947, end of story, but wiser heads prevailed and they, like the AMCA here in the States, have a rolling '35 Year' rule for inclusion.  Which means of course, that your Kawasaki Z1 is now eligible for the VMCC and AMCA events; strange bedfellows with a 1915 Harley or 1908 Rover!

As for the origins of the term 'Vintagent'; having been asked many times, my research has proved inconclusive - I remember reading columns by Bob Currie when he wrote for Classic Bike in their toddler years (the early 1980s), and understand Titch Allen used the term freely.  It's likely when the VMCC was formed, some clever English wag concocted the name, and it stuck, as it perfectly suits 'us'.


occhiolungo said...

Hi Paul. VMCC classifies Veterans as being made pre 1915 (pre WW1). The 1919 cutoff is for the Australian groups. And pre 1916 is used in the USA, due to the horseless carriage clubs (model T's lost the brass radiators for the 1916 models...)

VMCC calls "Vintage" bikes pre 1931.

I think that the author Ixion used the term Vintagent, way back when, maybe 70+ years ago. But I'll have to look at my books to double check.


daveinnola said...

well there goes your law suit for copy write, another fortune slips though you oil ingrained fingers

Anonymous said...

(Sent to the Oxford English Dictionary)

I would like to propose a new word for inclusion in the Oxford
English Dictionary. The word is "vintagent" and it has been used
for some time in the Commonwealth (and now in the US also) to
describe a person interested in old motorcycles. One of the earliest
references is here,